Thursday, January 25, 2007

Good Article

First off sorry for the lack of productivity on my site lately. School is kicking my butt with regards to free time so I haven't been posting too much. I have several posts in the works but for now I have a link to The Captain's Journal where you will find an excerpt from my radio interview with Hugh Hewitt last month contributing to an overall argument against the rules of engagement (ROE) in Iraq. The Captain puts together a good argument against the constricting ROE that we had to face in Iraq so visit his site and let him know what you think.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Just Doing My Part

I often wonder why it always takes socialist scumbags to awaken me to the fact that there are a lot of lowlifes out there willing to take advantage of other people. Cue Appeal For Redress. I am just doing my part to spread the word about this so called "grass roots campaign" so don't credit me with this one, Greyhawk at Mudville Gazette is the one doing all the work. Visit the link above to see Greyhawk's original article.

Although I didn't discover this story I am going to add a new thought to it by referring to this as my generations first "Swiftboat Cause" as I am sure there will be more. Those of us in the military who are tired of being taken advantage of need to speak up and be the real grass roots organization that Greyhawk refers to.

So the guy who the people behind Appeal For Redress say started the website is a navy veteran who joined in 2004 and is now out. You may be wondering what this guy did while he was in the navy as I did when I first started reading about him. Well turns out he was an onboard photographer who also spent his time fixing up offices and making sure things worked properly. While others will not question a veteran's right to voice their opinions I will. What possibly does this guy have to add to the discussion on whether or not we should be in Iraq? This guy, as far as I can tell since all the links talking about him have been changed or removed from the web (most likely in the past day or so) never made it off of the ship into Iraq. Now if he wants to be ideologically opposed to war than that is fine I suppose (although I would disagree with him there too) but on the website it says "Staying in Iraq will not work and is not worth the price." How the hell would this navy photographer know that? Now of course this guy is just a front for the organization but don't you think they could have found someone more qualified? Is this the best these people can come up with?

So what everyone should do is spread the word to as many people as they can. Send Greyhawk's article to your local representatives so they won't buy into this crap when it comes across their desk. I'll keep people updated as I hear more but be sure to keep checking back with Mudville Gazette.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Help A Soldier

Some folks are above shamless self promotion...I'm not. Go over to this site and vote for the best milblog so your favorite military author can win some money. Just so you know if I win any money (highly unlikely) it will go towards the creation of my new website. You will basically be doing yourself a favor because you will get to enjoy the fruits of your own labor in voting for me. Thanks.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Yeah I Don't Get It Either

After checking my site meter earlier today I learned that a number of people were coming my way via Mary Katharine Ham's website at I decided to check out why they were doing so since Ham has never linked to me before. When I got to her site I watched a little video that she made that quotes me during it. I don't really know why she quotes me because what I said doesn't fit with the point she is trying to make. I am also quoted alongside the likes of some of my favorite people like John Kerry, Howard Dean, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid just to name a few. Now I don't know whether Ham was trying to cast what I said in a negative light but after watching the video several times it seems that way to me. Of course that may not have been her intention with the video but the video is poorly done and devoid of any real meaning so the point was hard for me to grasp.

So why did I respond you may be asking? Well I just didn't want people coming to my site thinking that I support what those democratic senators said. Don't blame me for the video, I'm just an innocent bystander. Go check out the video and tell me what you think because maybe I am way off base here.

*Update* Mary Katharine Ham emailed and said she didn't mean for it to be negative in any way. No harsh feelings Miss. Ham just wondering.

I Just Got Iraqed Upside The Face

My apologies to those of you who happened to see a post of mine that was up for about 20 minutes on Thursday night. I took the post down after giving it some thought and think I made the right choice. For those of you who didn't see it a little bit of explanation is warranted on my part.

The post was my initial reaction to the news from this
article. The article is about the Pentagon's new policy regarding deployments for the Guard and Reserve. Have a look for yourself.

“Until now, the Pentagon’s policy on the Guard or Reserve was that members’ cumulative time on active duty for the Iraq or Afghan wars could not exceed 24 months. That cumulative limit is now lifted; the remaining limit is on the length of any single mobilization, which may not exceed 24 consecutive months.”

My initial reaction was obviously not very positive but since then I have calmed down and realized that I might as well get mad at the weather. There is nothing I can do about anything the army does. So if they need me to deploy again then so be it, I just thought I would go ahead and volunteer for my last tour so I could have some assurance about the course of my future. Silly me.

On the bright side maybe I'll be able to provide everyone with news from the front again sometime soon. I won't be holding my breath but you guys are welcome to.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Two Articles

By no means am I the first to share the links to these two articles but they accurately portray how I feel so I thought I would link to them so people could understand where I am coming from with a lot of my thoughts. The first article was written a week ago by J.B. Smith who served in Iraq from 2004-2005 and can be found here. The second article was written by Jed Babbin at the American Prowler (linked to in my blogroll by the name The American Spectator) and is called The A-Team?

I just figured if you are like me you could use some good reading now and again. Enjoy.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Why A Troop Increase Isn’t That Bad of an Idea

Lots of talk has been made lately of the majority Republican idea of sending more troops to Iraq in an attempt to quell terrorism once and for all. Democrats (most of them at least) want us to pull out of Iraq and come home so that not one more soldier will die, or something like that. My real guess at what the democrats want is for the troops to come home so John Kerry will stop putting his foot in his mouth when he refers to them thus making potential voters angry. So here we are with two options but still without a real plan so if I may offer my two cents on the topic we’ll see if we can’t clear up a few issues.

As you already deciphered from the title of this post I am in favor of a troop increase and think it will help enormously as long as the troops are put to good use. My support for a troop increase stems from some of my experiences while in Iraq on my second yearlong tour with the army.

The town I was based in was somewhat of a model for all Arab Iraqi towns. I say Arab Iraqi towns because a true model for Iraq would be that of the Kurdish areas but since Arabs do not play nicely with Kurds we’ll take what we can get. Sometime before I arrived there the town I was in was a haven for terrorists. Due to the effort of many brave American and Iraqi soldiers the town had been cleaned up and was for the most part about as safe as you can get in Iraq. Since the town was safe, reconstruction efforts were able to get underway which in turn allowed the inhabitants of the city to see the benefit of not allowing terrorists to operate in their midst. It is simple mathematics: 2+2=4 and no terrorists=better quality of life.

When water starts flowing and schools start opening up, among many other things, people realize that we are not the Great Satan that they once thought we were. They understand that we really are there to do as we said we were four years ago. We don’t want their oil; we want to make it flow better. We don’t want to indoctrinate their kids; we want to open up schools so they can learn and make their own decisions. We only need the time and cooperation of the local population to make these things happen.

With more troops in Iraq I believe we would better be able to secure towns and allow reconstruction to happen on a larger scale. I mentioned that we cannot simply send more troops into country with the hopes of everything magically getting better but that they must be put to good use. Much has been made about the Rules of Engagement (ROE) being too strict thus hamstringing our troops from adequately doing their job and I agree. I have mentioned several times before about instances when I thought twice about doing something simply because I was worried if what I was going to do fell within the limitations of the ROE. While soldiers need to learn and memorize the ROE, the ROE need to be relaxed if we ever hope of truly crushing the terrorists. We need to be allowed to walk into any Mosque at any time to search it since they have generally been places for terrorists to hide their weapons caches. We need to come up with a standardized set of rules for Iraqis to follow when around soldiers so that anything out of the ordinary will be easily recognizable. These suggestions among many possible others should go into effect along with any troop increase that might happen in Iraq.

More troops is only part of the answer, and while it is a major part, we also need to fix the ROE. Fighting wars by political means has never worked in the past and it will not now. We need to let our war fighters do their jobs and that means having the politicians in Washington sit out of the meetings when the new ROE are drawn up. So by all means send more troops to Iraq but make sure they are helping to secure Iraq so that all Iraqis can see the benefits of the greatest democracy in the world at work and perhaps gets some notions of their own and follow in tow. That is what we want in Iraq after all isn’t it?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Back At Liberal U

I do not know why I would ever be surprised by the goings on at a major university but for some reason I am now. After attending the first day of classes I visited a local bookstore to purchase my textbooks and I noticed several class reading lists that consisted solely of books bashing the Bush administration. Titles like State of Denial , The Greatest Story Ever Sold: The Decline and Fall of Truth From 9/11 to Katrina, War on the Middle Class, and The World is Flat adorned the bookshelves and kids were rushing to get their copies. Books by Cornell West and other hate-America lefties were assigned reading and I cringed as 18-year-old students fresh out of high school plopped down their money in order to be indoctrinated by their far-left professors.

After my book buying experience I was all set to meet with a professor whom I hadn’t seen since I left school almost two years ago for Iraq. Now to be fair this professor is a friend of mine and is a great teacher but what she said to me within the first minute of seeing me confirmed the fact that I’m not in Kansas anymore. After we said our pleasantries she asked me the same thing that everyone always wants to know:

“So are you going to have to go back to Iraq?”

She said this with a hint of trepidation in her voice and when I explained to her that the earliest I would have to go back would be sometime late 2008 if at all she breathed a sigh of relief and said:

“Phhewww. By then we will have a democratic president in office so you won’t have to worry about it. If by some crazy chance Bush was elected to a third term you know you would be going back.”

After I shrugged off her ridiculous concern that Bush might somehow gain office for a third term considering it is law that presidents can only serve two terms (although admittedly Bush does have superpowers since he caused Hurricane Katrina) I found it funny that she thought I must feel the same way as she did. I can guarantee that it never crossed her mind that I would feel differently. After she was finished speaking I just smiled politely-the smile that I do when I know there is no reason to argue-and told her that I didn’t really mind my deployments and actually had a great experience. However, I am sure that this part of the conversation went somewhere off the left side of her brain and bounced around the walls of books until it found it’s way out the crack at the bottom of the door.

The reason teachers (not all teachers just to be fair) feel this way is because they live in a little academic bubble and are surrounded by like-minded peers. I don’t have a solution to this problem but if you know a young college student point them in the direction of websites that share real world information (hint: info not found in a college newspaper) the likes of which I have linked to in my blogroll. A little outside perspective can go a long way on a college campus.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Joys of Blogging

So I realize that I haven’t posted for a while and for that I apologize. I just got back from my cross country media blitz consisting of one radio show interview and am currently packing up the car to go back to school. The next chapter to my “back from war” life is starting and I have to say I am excited to get on with things.

After appearing on the Hugh Hewitt show last week on which I had the opportunity to talk with many of the big milbloggers out there I ran out to Las Vegas with a blogger friend of mine and had a great weekend. A year ago when I started my blog I never would have thought that I would have done half of the things that I have done because of it. I consider myself lucky to have done the things I have since then and hope to continue on with blogging. With that said I hope to come up with a new website and finally get away from blogger. I have big plans for the future and I just ask everyone to stick with me in the meantime. I will continue to post at this URL and will be sure to let everyone know what’s going on with the new site.

So Happy New Year everyone, thanks for reading and I hope you continue to stop by. I’ll be back soon.